SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 6, 2012

Judge says March is firm date for Bulger trial

BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge told Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger’s lawyers in no uncertain terms yesterday that she won’t delay the start of Bulger’s trial.

Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler said the March 4 trial date remains firm, despite complaints from the defense that it will not be ready by then because of a huge volume of documents and other materials it needs to review before trial.

During a status conference on the case, Bulger’s lead attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., repeated his complaint that prosecutors have given the defense team hundreds of thousands of documents in a disorganized and redundant way that has slowed their ability to prepare for trial. Carney told Bowler it would take until at least May to finish reviewing the material.

Bowler, however, said she believes prosecutors have complied with pre-trial rules. She told Carney his complaints were “beginning to sound like a broken record.”

“I’ve heard it over and over and over. The date is set for the trial and it’s firm,” Bowler said.

Bulger, 83, the former leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, is awaiting trial for his alleged role in 19 killings. Bulger was also an FBI informant who supplied information on the Mafia, his gang’s main rival.

Carney has said Bulger plans to testify at his trial about his claim that someone within the U.S. Department of Justice gave him immunity to commit crimes while he was an informant.

Bowler set another status conference for Oct. 22.

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